MAPS – June 25th, 2007

Today was the third session of MAPS. A combination of clear skies and hot temperatures usually indicates a poor banding day, but the nets yielded a steady amount of birds and the daily total of 37 was quite respectable.

At times the banding station resembled a nursery as many recently fledged young birds were amongst those banded. “Babies” include: Song Sparrow, Downy Woodpecker, Brown-Headed Cowbird, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Northern Cardinal, and American Robin.

The influx of unbanded Yellow Warblers continues. So far they tell no tails, er, tales.

Conditions at Ruthven Park are very dry and the parched clay soil is laced with some substantial fissures.

Some of the insects encountered today were Common Wood Nymph, Banded Hairstreak, Virginia Ctenuchid, and scads of European Skippers. An Ebony Jewelwing was also sighted.

Banded: 37

American Goldfinch 2
Blue-Winged Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 5
Tree Swallow 1
Song Sparrow 5
Downy Woodpecker 3
Brown-Headed Cowbird 3
Grey Catbird 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Red-Winged Blackbird 3
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 6
Northern Cardinal 1
Yellow-Billed Cuckoo 1
American Robin 1
Mourning Dove 1

Retrapped: 9
American Goldfinch 1
Yellow Warbler 1
Brown-Headed Cowbird 1
Song Sparrow 1
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 5

The three banded Brown-Headed Cowbirds were an interesting trio. One was an adult female, the other were 2 large (male?) recently fledged young. They were all caught together in the same net. Possibly the young were trying to imprint on one of their own kind? or maybe cowbirds have an aggressive lecherous gene that manifests itself straight out of the egg.

The next session of MAPS may be July 2nd or 3rd depending if I get any better offers or not (hopefully not by a cowbird).


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